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Proof Points: Research findings to use when advocating for the marketing approaches you know are right.

Talk about a perennial challenge! Inadequate time and budget remain the two primary hurdles to nonprofits’ marketing impact. But thanks to the 1,600+ nonprofit communications and fundraising staff members surveyed for the 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, we now know more.

Here are top hurdles to communications impact, straight from you and your peers in the field:
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Nancy Schwartz on February 3, 2016 in Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this morning, and I’m thrilled we’re not going to get stuck in the snow. In fact, it’s melting fast in the 50-degree sun right outside my New Jersey window.

Your marketing doesn’t have to stay stuck either. Instead, turn to comic genius Bill Murray for guidance on breaking out of your same old, same old marketing approach. He’ll help you take the rest of the year by storm.

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Nancy Schwartz on February 2, 2016 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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Nonprofit WritingStuck on that membership renewal email series or the petition-signing campaign due to launch on Facebook last week? Ready to move from making mediocre messages to crafting content that connects quickly, and is repeated and acted on?

Then learn and laugh as you gobble your way through Jeff Brooks’ new guide to writing great nonprofit content:  How to Turn Your Words Into Money: The Master Fundraiser’s Guide to Persuasive Writing. Whether you’re newish to the field, sick of the same old messages and methods, or obsessed with breaking into the all-star league, there is a way out of this message mess. Jeff provides the specific, concrete and frequently counterintuitive to-dos—and the kick in the patootie—we need.

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Nancy Schwartz on January 28, 2016 in Writing | 0 comments
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Nonprofit Video Tips & Tools

Read Part Two

It’s so challenging for nonprofits to get video right, especially with limited budgets and bandwidth. That’s why I so appreciate the practical guidance shared by NYC’s 501 Tech Club presenters Cathe Neukum, Executive Producer at International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Lane Beauchamp, Manager of Marketing and Media at Broadway Cares. Here’s a brief summary of what I learned:

Know Before You Go

  • Why us and why now? Ensure that the video is designed to advance priority goals, and is one of the best methods of doing so. Don’t just do it to do it. (Lane)
  • Powerful videos require planning, lots and lots of planning. Know what you’re getting into before showtime. (Cathe)
  • Make your video shareable. It’s not enough for people to like it, they need to share it. (Lane)
  • Earmark some of your video budget for paid distribution; social is a pay-to-play world at this point. (Cathe)

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Nancy Schwartz on January 27, 2016 in Video | 1 comment
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Nonprofit Audience Personas

Thanks to See3 for sharing this useful case study, originally published on the See3 blog.

Learn more: Create personas to bridge the gap with your target audiences

Many nonprofits fall into the trap of believing that their audience is the general public, when the truth is that your supporters are much more nuanced than that.  By putting together a comprehensive profile of your audience, your nonprofit is better able to create personalized content that speaks to your audience and drives them to action.

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Guest Blogger on January 6, 2016 in Audience Research | 0 comments
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Nonprofit Employee Messengers

We all have a powerful communications resource right in front of us—our colleagues. But most of us look right past them.

Here are four compelling reasons—backed up by the kind of research findings nonprofit decision makers adore—to launch your team of staff messengers a.s.a.p.: READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz on January 5, 2016 in All-Org Marketing Team | 0 comments
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2016 Nonprofit Marketing TrendsI relish the roll out of trends at the end of each year, digesting them in the context of what’s working for our clients and passing on what matters most to nonprofit marketers. I’ve seen typically broad-ranging predictions for 2016, but these two constants central to our work have been heralded by multiple sources:

  • Data, drawn from all channels, will continue to grow exponentially in volume
  • Marketers like us will continue to struggle to share it, interpret it, and put it to work in a productive way.

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Nancy Schwartz on December 15, 2015 in Trends | 1 comment
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connectWelcome back to our new Do-It-Differently series, featuring fresh ideas from the field. Thanks to today’s idea generator—Todd McPherson, development director, IFCS.

We revised our tone and content to be more direct, frank and engaging—like a one-to-one conversation: For example, we’re showing results of donor generosity (rather than talking about them) and sharing organizational changes in progress. 

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Nancy Schwartz on December 8, 2015 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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Giving Tuesday: Barth Syndrome FoundationToday’s the day: #GivingTuesday 2015. “We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. [Today], we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back.”

Whether your organization is full into Giving Tuesday, or you’re watching from the sidelines to determine whether it’s right for you, there’s lots to learn by noting what participating organizations are doing. Even if you ultimately decide to maintain 100% focus on year-end, it’s important to know what else your prospects are seeing each December. Take these three steps now:

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Nancy Schwartz on December 1, 2015 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments

2016-take-survey-nowKivi Leroux Miller’s Nonprofit Communications Trends Survey has become the “go to” source for what’s REALLY happening in the world of nonprofit communications and fundraising. The annual results report provides concrete benchmarks for your marketing approach and the proof points you need to lobby for the resources you need to do marketing right.

So please, take 10-15 minutes now to take this year’s Survey. Your input is vital to generating the benchmarks and proof points we all need to do marketing even better. BONUS: As a survey respondent, you’ll be among the first to get the results (via a preview webinar on December 16). Give 10—take the survey today.

 

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Nancy Schwartz on November 18, 2015 in Trends | 0 comments
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